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UUP confernce: Familiar name takes his place among the party's new guard

By Suzanne Breen

Published 24/10/2016

Nicholas Trimble speaking at the UUP conference
Nicholas Trimble speaking at the UUP conference

A series of new, young unionist politicians addressed the conference, including the son of former UUP leader, Lord Trimble.

Nicholas Trimble, a 29-year-old member of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, said he was enjoying his time in local politics.

"It's great to see things actually get done, to see people's issues get sorted," he said.

"Unfortunately, though, it can also be a little discouraging to see the DUP shoot down every idea which isn't their own." Mr Trimble attended the conference with his mother, Daphne. He said he had been involved in politics his whole life, "stuffing election literature into envelopes in Upper Bann as a young lad".

He continued that he was proud to have been involved in the party's recent election campaign in Lagan Valley, where it had grown "from zero MLAs to two".

Mark Glasgow, a 25-year-old member of Mid Ulster District Council, said young councillors must ensure their generation voted.

"When I was elected in 2014, I was the new kid on the block.

"I was taking over from my grandda Sam who had represented the party for 43 years at local council level. I had big shoes to fill," he added.

Julie Flaherty, a member of Armagh City, Banbridge, and Craigavon Council, said a chance meeting with MLA Jo-Anne Dobson at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital had led her into politics. She had been there with her son, Jake, who had Down's syndrome and died from congenital heart disease aged two.

"I don't want Jake defined by his condition. He was a wee boy with a big personality," she said.

"I've been a committed campaigner since Jake was born and died, and I am now bringing that energy to representing my constituents."

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